It seems number 9 doesn’t quite make a great dynasty.
One of the longest-running series in gaming, even spawning its own sub-genre of games, is back in the race. Dynasty Warriors 9 arrives to bring historical Chinese warfare to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Developed by Omega Force and published by Koei Tecmo, Dynasty Warriors 9 released in America on February 13th, 2018. Boasting over 60 unique playable characters and a fully open world version of feudal China, the latest entry in the series looks to breathe new life by adding modern day gaming mechanics to its hack and slash formula. Does Dynasty Warriors 9 deliver a new experience that protects the fidelity of the series while encouraging new players to join the fun?
Dynasty Warriors has never been graphically impressive from a visual fidelity standpoint. However where it has always succeeded has been with rendering large amounts of content and assets on screen. Hundreds of warriors at a time, with a mini-map, flashing lights from attacks, horses, grass, fire, and so many other things all on screen at the same time. But sadly this time the fluidity was not there. Too often the movements felt choppy and frame rate issues seemed to be very prominent. There was also an incredible amount latency in button response time. A game very centered around button mashing needs to be on point with the control to screen time. Because of the new open world and lack of loading screens, the cutscenes even felt very weak. For this review the game was running on a launch day PS4 so it could be possible that some of these issues are addressed with the power of the PS4 Pro or Xbox One X. Regardless, for a current generation console game Dynasty Warriors 9 is severely underwhelming in the graphics area.
It’s the feudal era of China’s great history. Or at least a theatrical version of it. The Dynasty Warriors series is based heavily on a novel titled “The Romance of the Three Kingdoms” which tells the story of a three way war. After the Han Dynasty was horribly damaged by the Yellow Turban rebellion three different powerful men became leaders of their own kingdoms with their own visions for the future of China. The game gives the player to relive the history of each individual kingdoms as well as smaller factions that had major impacts on the outcomes of tide changing battles. If none of that was interesting stay far from this game. Otherwise, a very compelling story that challenges morality, belief, and strategy is brought to life in Dynasty Warriors that cannot be matched by any other historically based game. Because of its new open world design Dynasty Warriors 9 struggles to effectively deliver this story like past entries. By providing the player so much freedom, the way events play out is thrown for a complete loop and is ineffective at telling the rich story. In its heart Dynasty Warriors 9 wants to tell a great story, it just doesn’t know how with the new tools in its hands.
Major issue: certain dialogue will get interrupted with no way of replaying if the player steps away from the NPC speaking. The bigger problem is the distant is completely inconsistent. Sometimes the player can step almost a whole road away. Other times an accidental flick of the camera stick will instantly mute this potential new friend. Outside of that big problem, it’s business as usual. The voice acting is pretty great offering both English and Japanese audio options. As always some characters sound better in one language than the other, so it really becomes a player preference thing. Sound effects on the battlefield were amazing. The sound of horses galloping, troops’ battle cries as they entered the war, and the cool video game sounds of power up and special activations were all great. In full surround sound, it’s very easy to get immersed in the world through its well-placed sound design. Until the visuals do something stupid and remind you it’s just a game.
Anyone familiar with Dynasty Warriors and its long history will find a few new things laced in the same effective formula. The “Warriors Style” games are button mashing fast paced action packed games with good plot and interesting dynamics. Huge battles and seemingly endless enemies open the door to entry level gaming for novices while maintaining enough strategy to fulfill advanced players. Playing the game on normal let’s you feel almighty as you strike down soldiers with various combinations of the face buttons and right trigger. The new open-world format is the most damaging part of the game. By opening up the largest country on the planet and allowing the player to explore its vast content would be great for a game with slightly slower pacing. The focus of the Dynasty Warriors plot is to let the player relive epic battles and implore their own strategy to achieve victory. Dynasty Warriors 9’s open world add the depth of challenging batteries anywhere any way, but misses the beauty of experimenting in contained battles with reinforcement from a simulated real world. The revamped shops and crafting systems add an RPG that helps connect the player further to their favorite characters but the navigation feels clunky. Lots of menus plague this already overwhelmingly large game. Dynasty Warriors 9 is a great example of why all games don’t need to go and open the whole world for gamers.
Despite the sum of its flaws, Dynasty Warriors 9 still shines through as being a mindlessly fun game. Racking up outrageous body counts still feels just as rewarding and entertaining as it did when the series first converted from a fighting game. Traveling the open world of the warring era of great China is fun even though it lacks true purpose. Taking over enemy bases feels satisfying and employing real strategy to defeat officers at higher difficulty levels can be very stimulating. Because of the scale of the plot advancing battles hours can pass without realization so long as the graphics issues don’t intrude too often. And with a playable roster of over 60 unique characters with their own favorite weapons and play styles, the replay value of the game is ridiculously high. Completionist and trophy/achievement hunters will have a ball chasing all the various objectives, armors, items, and weapons available throughout the game. To reiterate, if the context and content are interesting this game will keep you hooked for a really long time.
Straying from its roots and exploring the possibilities of a new fan base by following the open world trend does more bad than good for Dynasty Warriors 9. Very quickly it becomes apparent that Dynasty Warriors 9 is suffering a major identity crisis. Longtime fans of the series will find it hard to enjoy the tactical battles they’ve grown used to. Newcomers with expectations of what an open world game should feel like will be underwhelmed by the large mostly empty world presented. The open world feels very cartoony I’m a very bad way very quickly. It was exciting to see a franchise with such a long history of being fundamentally the same venture out and try something new. Unfortunately, this didn’t work and Dynasty Warriors needs to stick to its roots.
Posted in Reviews Tagged with: china, dw9, dynasty warriors, dynasty warriors 9, liu bei, lu bu, playstation 4, ps4, review, xbox one
To Dy For
Dynasty Warriors 9 is coming to a console near you on February 8th, 2018, which is right around the corner. I figured it would be a little fun to drop a list of 9 reasons I feel you need to be excited about one of my favorite game series of all time. I’ll never forget the first time encountering the mighty Lu-Bu or the sadness I felt watching Zhuge Liang die of illness only to watch Sima Yi take over the world. Aaahhhh good times. Anyway here are 9 reasons to be excited for Dynasty Warriors 9:
With a roster of over 40 unique characters how could you not be excited? Like to play as a guy with a massive sword? Covered! Want to play as a cute girl who clearly isn’t dressed for the battle? Covered! Need to get your fix of playing as a guy who just might be to old for this war but everyone seems to be mega cool with it? You’re covered. Characters galore keeps up fighting games, cause this fighting game is kicking your ass when it comes to character selection.
I think its pretty clear that you’ll be playing this game for a while with over 40 unique characters to play as but the truth is thats just the start. In previous games there have been over 30 unique maps for battles taking place with the option to play on opposite sides of the war. Mathematically that makes 60 different potential missions to play and thats not including the different outcomes on each map based on the incredible (or terrible) decisions you make throughout the battle. Replay Value? Check.
And now the juicy stuff. How many kills do you have in Call of Duty? Oh 300? That’s cute. I’ll rack up 300 in 2 minutes in Dynasty Warriors. Seriously, thats not even a joke! There are missions, challenges, and secret items you can unlock by slaughtering ridiculous amounts of enemies in hilariously short time frames. Take that MLG!
Historical Fiction Realness
I love games with great story lines and whats better than a game with 40 unique story lines that are also rooted in fantastic educational goodness. Historical facts people thats what we’re talking about here. Do you know anything about the three kingdoms period of China. You know back when they had a civil war that lasted longer than how many years America has existed period. Well heres your chance to get your foot in the door. Whether its to make yourself a more knowledgeable person (you go girl) or if you just want to school your modern history teacher next time he gives you an F (sorry your paper sucks); play some damn Dynasty Warriors and get your life together.
Armors, Weapons, & Items Oh My!
Hey, I know what you’re thinking, You don’t need anymore convincing to play this series but you know what? You made it this far so might as well stick it out till the end. Let’s talk about all the armor, weapons, and items you can collect in this amazing game. Each character (remember there’s at least 40 of these guys) has his own super ultra mega rare ultimate weapon and then a bunch of basic weapons we don’t really care about but its there to collect dammit. And its the same for armor and items too. Oh and that reminds me did I mention…
Massive Body Counts
Body Counts! Like massive body counts. I mean I was playing Dynasty Warriors 6 or 7 or something idk maybe it was 5 but anyway I racked like 4000 kills in like an hour. god it was so satisfying! I mean I could have ended the mission as any point but i didn’t I kept one gate open so enemies would keep spewing and i could keep killing.
Epic Strategic (or Brute Force) Battles
What are gates you ask? well thats a great segway to reason number 7. Strategy. every mission has a bunch of soldiers on the map and just as many different ways for you to navigate the map to either end the mission quickly, super effective for doing stupid things like play on chaos mode with a weak character, or you can take your time executing effective strategies that allow you to control the shape of the battle and minimize how many of your partners die.
Name 3 games, with this many characters and weapons, that allow you to ride horses whenever you want. I’ll wait… …didn’t think so, moving on.
Seriously Massive Body Counts!
If you’re still reading this instead of playing a dynasty warriors game, you’re tapped. I mean like full on belong in a loony bin with a straight jacket type crazy. Dynasty Warriors is perfect for letting your inner crazy out as it allows you to rack up tons kills. The body count just grows and its so damn satisfying. If you have stress issues or an awful job where you hate your co workers don’t go crazy and hurt anyone. Just play some dynasty warriors instead.
Those are 9 reasons you need to be excited for Dynasty Warriors 9. Make sure you like and subscribe to our channel for more amazing news, videos, and games you should be excited for! Let me know what I should be excited for in the comments below!
Did we mention there’s 40 characters?
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